To the Senate of Canada: Food marketing to kids is not a joke

Have you seen the new campaign by Kraft called #LieLikeAParent? In their press release, the company states,

“Let’s be honest, parents lie to their kids. It is their secret weapon in parenting, especially when it comes to food. In fact, 63% of U.S. parents admit to telling instrumental lies to get their kids to clean up their plates. Sometimes an innocent, smart lie is just the only way, especially as 75% of American kids eat salad only once a week”.

Kraft is introducing Kraft Salad “Frosting,” its Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing disguised in a frosting tube, giving parents a hand in upping their lie game. (I’m not going to comment on my thoughts about this statement, never mind even the temporary production of this product!)

Check out the promotional video below.

This product will only be available to parents who win a limited edition Kraft Salad “Frosting”, by sharing their best parent lies on Twitter using #LieLikeAParent and #contest, and Kraft will select 1,500 winners based on likes and originality and send them a free sample.

Well, thank goodness this is a tongue-in-cheek promotion but what about all the other marketing aimed at kids. In spite of the overwhelming support by the public to restrict advertising of unhealthy foods aimed at children (82 % of Canadians), some members of the Senate of Canada have bowed to industry pressure and have not passed Bill S-228, the Child Health Protection Act. If it’s not passed before June 28, when this session of the Senate ends, because of the election, the bill will die.

In an editorial by the Toronto Star newspaper entitled, Senate should stop delays and pass bill to protect kids’ health, the editorial board asks about what “could explain a move by Conservative senators, backed by some independents, to block the passage of a bill that would simply promote healthy eating habits for children?” They state that partisan-minded senators are actually prepared sink the Child Health Protection Act to undermine the Liberals as they head into an election campaign.

“It wouldn’t be the first time partisanship has trumped good sense.”

While there are many issues to consider in this upcoming election, for me as a dietitian, I was finally happy to see that our current government, with their unveiling of the new food guide, was putting the physical health of Canadians ahead of the financial health of the food industry.

It makes me very nervous to think that with an election, we could see a return to the old way of thinking where the almighty dollar trumps the health of our kids.

I’m hoping that the Conservatives see that our children should come first. The passage of this bill would be a step in that direction.

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Categories: Children's Health, Rosie's Rants

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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